Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hanging Drawers

I like Accuride full-extension drawer glides. Yes, they are ugly, but they have a high load rating, come in many sizes and styles, are easy to adjust, and they work well. They are suitable in all but the finest furniture, and nothing feels as nice as a drawer on ball bearings.

I've struggled with installing them, though. Each drawer has two cabinet tracks and two drawer rails that need to be in alignment, level and square. I've found the easiest way to keep everything straight is through two simple spacers.

I start with the drawer itself. The glide is assembled, the rail installed in the track. For this piece the reference is above the drawer, so I place the drawer upside down on a flat surface. I rip a scrap of plywood 7/8" wide, and use it to space the glide from the top of the drawer. The rail is slipped out of the track, its end is placed touching the drawer front, then screwed in place.

To maintain alignment, the rail is slipped out and screwed to the drawer one hole at a time.

After the rail is attached to the drawer the track is removed and screwed to the carcass. Here I use a 1" wide spacer, this keeps the rail level and automatically gives me a 1/8" reveal. That's a little coarse, in a finer cabinet I would use a 15/16" spacer for a 1/16" gap. Again, the front of the rail is placed right behind the drawer front.

The result is a drawer that hangs properly directly after install, level, with a consistent gap and smooth operation. No adjustments are needed.


  1. Very timely Darnell, I about to fit six drawers using Accuride runners, thanks for the tips. I usually just "fudge em in", and plane the applied front to fit.

  2. I hope the tips help Mark, the spacers can be used from the top or the bottom, and on tall stack of drawers with no web frames they can be clamped in place using measured marks on the face and a square. I do the planed applied front sometimes too, this technique allows me to repeat the settings after I dismantle the piece for finishing.

  3. This looks great! I want to add a drawer like this to my computer desk for a 38 lbs digital piano. How many screws hold the two pieces and what depth?

  4. I usually use four screws, but there are more slots than that so you could use more. Screw length is determined by your drawer and carcass side thickness.

  5. Dear Darnell, I have an old maple dining room cabinet with two face front doors. I would like to install 2 shallow cutlery drawers inside the cabinet, but because the cabinet has facing wood on the front, I'm trying to figure out how to install/fit the drawers in and attach them to something to hang from?? Might you have an idea or strategy, since your picture looks a bit like what I'm up against except the outer doors will cover any glaring mistakes. I also am kind of thrifty and try to make things work for me rather than replace. cheers, sandi

  6. Your blog explaining all the main points very awesomely. Thanks for sharing this knowledgeable post.
    Drawer Runner


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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.